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David Cameron appoints first lesbian to a Conservative government

By Will Stroude

Margot James has become the first lesbian to be appointed to a Conservative government after landing the role of Assistant Government Whip.

The MP for Stourbridge, who has served as a backbench MP since 2010, was promoted as part of David Cameron’s ongoing Cabinet reshuffle.

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Ms James’s election in 2010 made her one of just two openly lesbian members of parliament, along with Labour’s Angela Eagle, who was the first lesbian to be appointed to any UK government back in 1997 when she became Environment Minister under Tony Blair. spoke to the 57-year-old before the election, where she told us that the Labour and Conservative party’s were now on a “level setting” when it came to equality issues.

“The Conservative party has changed – it’s changing still – and there aren’t issues for gay people in the Conservative party,” she added. You can read our full interview with Margot here.

Meanwhile, David Cameron controversially appointed anti-gay marriage MP Caroline Dinenage to the role the Minister for Equalities at the Department for Education earlier this week (May 12).

Despite voting against equal marriage at the Bill’s second reading and previously saying the state had “no right” to ‘redefine’ marriage to include same-sex couples, following the appointment Ms Dinenage has claimed she’s now “fully committed” to LGBT rights.

Mr Cameron has also appointed Maldon MP John Whittingdale – who has consistently voted against gay rights legislation including equal marriage over the last 20 years – to the role of Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport.

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